600 ml water
One large saucepan
A sugar thermometer
A sink of cold water
Before you start to make candy give some thought as to what shape and size you want the blocks to be and prepare suitable containers. Make sure you have some spare containers ready as once you start to pour out the candy you can’t stop to prepare an extra container. This recipe fills four of the normal sized aluminium takeaway food containers; these work particularly well as you can feed the candy straight from the container by inverting it onto the hole in the crown board.
Put the water and sugar into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Continue on a good rolling boil until the temperature reaches 117ºC (or ‘soft ball’). Take the saucepan off the heat and stand it in the sink of cold water. Keep stirring especially around the outside where it is beginning to thicken. As the temperature drops to around 70ºC the mixture will start to turn cloudy. At this point it must be poured immediately into the containers. If you delay even a few seconds you will end up with a saucepan of solid candy.
The candy must be kept in a sealed container for it to stay moist. The candy can be used in the early spring to give colonies a boost but remove any surplus before putting on the supers at the start of the honey flow.
I am grateful to Margaret Cowley whose recipe for candy appeared in Beecraft magazine.